Gazebo weather. That says it all now, doesn’t it. Beautiful fall day, but busy. Had to take the car to the repair shop this morning, so they could spend four (!) days repairing the abrasions visited on my car two weeks ago. Apparently it takes a day for each coat to cure. I’ve known people get heart surgery in less time, but of course the doctors didn’t paint their arteries with a patented epoxy. I waited for 15 minutes to get another car – and that’s America, right there. I need a car! Hold on, sir, I will conjur up a suitable vehicle in a quarter-hour. Take a seat and read a magazine.

I did; they had Highlights (haven’t checked in on the Timbertoes in a while) and Time, which I stopped reading long ago. Just as newspapers are for people who didn’t read the internet the day before, Time is for people who didn’t read the newspapers. It was denser than I remembered, attractively illustrated, and every ad seemed to be for pills. Lots of people with dogs, smiling, happy they no longer have acid reflux. I suppose that's better than acid reflex, a condition that causes you to vomit corrosives when someone taps your knee. After a while the rental car appeared: a nice young fellow took all my information, then led me on a walkaround so we could be on the same page about the vehicle’s preexisting dents. I asked him how he was getting back to the office; he said someone would be along to pick him up. They did not accept rides from customers. So off I went, leaving the guy standing in a suburban parking lot, waving. It’s a hell of a country. Here! Have a car! Get outta here, ya knucklehead.

The car is a Merc – a Sable, I think. It’s okay. Punchy enough for the class but it has that slightly cheap feel you expect in a rental, and the same vague air of soaked-in resignation rental cars seemt o have. They belong to no one, and they know it. What’s most interesting is the smell - it's a commercial air freshener not available to the general public, and it reminds me of motel rooms. It’s the smell of someplace not your own, the smell of rented things and common items that have now passed into your hands, for a while. I like it. It smells like adventure.

Chlorine has the same effect. Reminds me of motels, swimming pools, vacations. It would make a nice girl's name: Chlorine.

Drove home to work; filed two columns. Now errands; back later, with the usual scant Tuesday offerings.

Scant indeed, Bleatwise, but I’ve something else. The other night I caught one of the new old Star Treks: they redid the FX, updating the old matte paintings with CGI, replacing the shots of the ship in space with something that looks less like a model on a string. The music’s in stereo, and the pictures look better – they should, since they shot the original film for use in a HighDef version to be released later. They didn’t change anything; they just redid the original material. Now if someone could do the same for TNG, we’ll be set. Also edit out any scenes in which Troi says “I feel,” Wesley says anything, or Worf gets beat up by someone who materializes on the bridge and knocks him into the corner. Just once he should have killed someone with a single blow. Just once. Oh, he would have got the big lecture from Captain Cranium - Misteh Wohff, we have lawrs about how we deeeel with unfahmiliah speecees - but it would have been worth it, just to know he was looking at the Captain, and thinking: dink.

Anyway. In honor of the 40th anniversary of Star Trek, a brief pathetic survey of the merchandise available to geeks after the show had gone off the air, and lived in afternoon syndication, homemade comics, Saturday morning Filmation krep and comic book ads. Here you go, and I’ll see you tomorrow.



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c. 2005 j. lileks. Email, if you wish, may be sent to "first name at last name dot com."